Rain moves to Little River Baptist Church, 2449 Floyd HWY N, Floyd VA.
Alleghany Strings and the Blue Grass Inspirations.
All Proceeds go to the family of the late Ms. Cassie Robinette to help pay for expenses incurred during her sickness and death.
———————————By Bill Austin
Love for the road and the sweet sounds of music keep the Schillinger family in tune. On Jan. 6, the Allegheny String Band sat down for a talk that would be filled with stories of life on the road and how this family had come to land at Naval Station Mayport.
The group, comprised of Mary, Beth, Joe and their father Pete, play a mixture of bluegrass, Irish gospel and civil war music and they make no bones or apologies about their dislike for most modern music. “We write a lot of our own and prefer the sound of old country,” said Mary, the oldest of the trio at eighteen. All of her band mates come from different parts of the country and none were musically inclined before coming together as a family.
“All of them are adopted,” said Pete, with a smile and obvious pride as he and his wife Jackie watched them set up for the night’s performance. He added that they have only been part of the family for a few short years. The Schillinger’s have three older children, one of them just returned from his fifth tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The beginning of the Allegheny String Band was simply a gift of musical instruments. “Mom bought Mary and I a fiddle and we just picked it up,” said Joe. Beth followed shortly after with a guitar, and the group was formed. “We taught dad how to play the stand up bass but we don’t let him sing,” said Mary as the rest shared a big laugh.
Life on the road has its challenges according to the family, but show time they come together and you would never know by listening to them that they are still new to the music game.
The road has taken them recently through Northern California, and eventually they will return back to Pennsylvania where they live on a farm and work big gardens and can a lot of the bounty. “It all seems to work out,” said Jackie, who serves as not only mom but the group’s manager. “They are homeschooled and have met so many great people of all ages on the road. It truly is a great experience,” she said.
When they do take the stage, they are dressed in old time clothes reminiscent of the 1930’s with long dresses and hats. It’s appropriate dress for the music that comes from this young talented group with an earthy sound accompanied by smooth harmonies.
On this night, they were in jeans and shorts and when they took mandolin, guitar and fiddle in hand, they banged out an excellent rendition of the late Blue Grass legend Bill Monroe’s “Dark Hollow” for the RV audience already hanging out and waiting for the show.
Bill Monroe would have been proud.